Back in 1993, Diana Newman and colleagues at the Columbus Foundation in the US were sat around a table wondering why so few people left gifts in their Wills.\r\n\r\n\u201cI imagine they never even thought about doing it,\u201d she said. \u201cThat got several of us thinking about a community-wide effort to encourage everyone to consider charities in their Will.\r\n\r\nLeave A Legacy, the public awareness campaign, quickly grew across North America. And that was the start of this exciting movement.\u201d\r\n\r\nToday there are eighteen international campaigns, spanning Australasia, Europe and the USA.\r\n\r\nA new concept in many countries\r\n\r\nThe concept of legacy giving is still a new one in many countries and some face unique challenges.\r\n\r\nThe obstacles we faced in the early days of Leave a Legacy were nothing compared to difficulties colleagues in other parts of the world deal with.\r\n\r\nAs Tomas Vyhnalek, coordinator of the brand-new Czech campaign Zavet Pomaha told me, \u201cPhilanthropy was destroyed during communism. And we are now trying to bring it back to life.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can\u2019t do that\u201d\r\n\r\nSpanish campaign Legado Solidario had an intriguing start. It began when international fundraising consultant Daryl Upsall and his Spanish-born wife visited a Madrid lawyer to do their Wills.\r\n\r\nThey wanted 30% of their estates go to charity. The lawyer glanced up sharply and said, \u201cYou can\u2019t do that!\u201d This galvanized Daryl into action, because he knew you can.\r\n\r\nIt took four years to bring an initial group of nine charities on board. They combined resources for donor research which revealed an \u201coverwhelming lack of awareness of the need or value of writing a will, or that they were even allowed to leave anything to a charity.\u201d\r\n\r\nSince launching the campaign in 2006, legacy income has grown by 172% among its 24 members.\r\n\r\nSuccesses beyond North America\r\n\r\nEurope has become a hotbed of great legacy campaigns, and it\u2019s a challenge to keep up with developments.\r\n\r\nIn February the Netherlands-based \u201cGoed Nalaten\u201d campaign, headed by Theo Hesen, organised the first-ever gathering of European legacy campaigners.\r\n\r\n\u201cLegavision 2015\u201d was attended by legacy experts from countries including Austria, Belgium, Italy and Slovakia.\r\n\r\nWhy do we need legacy-awareness campaigns?\r\n\r\nThe UK\u2019s Remember A Charity says it best: \u201cTo do what no single charity has ever been able to achieve on its own: make legacy giving a social norm.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s fascinating to see how each country has adapted the \u201ctried and true\u201d principles of legacy marketing towards this end goal.\r\n\r\nThere seem to be endless variations on the theme of how to tell the legacy story and inspire people to take action.\r\n\r\nCommon ground\r\n\r\nDespite each campaign\u2019s individuality, there are certain characteristics most have in common:\r\n\r\n \tStrength in numbers: campaigns vary from a dozen to over a hundred participating charities\r\n \tHelping members of the public connect with professional advisors\r\n \tAnnual charity week: many campaigns focus a push of activity around an annual awareness week\r\n \tCreative marketing: use of humour is also often employed, for example with the branding of the Swiss campaign \u201cMy Happy End\u201d\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s inspiring to see how a new generation of fundraisers are expanding the idea of legacy-awareness campaigns across the globe. And they\u2019re reaping the benefits both today and for future generations.\r\n\r\nNatasha van Bentum, CFRE Advisor and\u00a0Outreach Director at\u00a0G2 Give Green Canada\r\n\r\nThis post is a shortened version of the original full article which appeared in \u201cPlanned Giving Today\u201d (USA), April 2015.\r\n\r\nFind out more about Remember A Charity's international partners.